According to Arno Arnold, predictive maintenance will continue to be an important trend in future. Repairing machines before they break requires integrated machine monitoring. The company has been working on intelligent-communicative protective systems for many years, and one of its ideas is a self-locking bellows. As is explained, the key component is the sensor in or on the bellows. As a result of its elasticity and kink resistance, the sensor element will not sustain damage even in the event of constant kinking movement in the bellows during drive operation. Therefore, very high process reliability and a minimization of sensor errors can be achieved. Because different sensor elements are distributed over the entire length of the bellows, continuous monitoring is possible. In another model, the bellows wall consists of at least one double-layer laminate, and the sensor elements are embedded into the laminate. This option reportedly protects the sensors against external influences. The signals can be used as part of an alarm system or integrated into an existing data system. Also interesting, according to the manufacturers, is the possibility of enabling the bellows to trigger an order for replacement parts, which helps ensure uninterrupted operation.
Predictive maintenance is an important issue for the future, according to the experts for machine protection covers at Arno Arnold. At EMO Hannover 2017, they will be presenting their ideas for intelligently communicating bellows.